Consumers have been upbeat lately, according to the University of Michigan sentiment survey. Economic fundamentals — like low unemployment, a strong job market, and an uptick in wages — are driving near record-high optimism. But there are other things consumers may be considering as they start to think about holiday purchases: recent stock market volatility, trade tensions, rising interest rates. The stock market gyrations that have erased much of the year’s gains may dampen consumer confidence, especially in upper-income households, although those are also the people who probably saw the biggest gains from recent tax cuts. For other Americans, a rise in gas prices could weigh on spending decisions. Last year, holiday sales were strong, up more than 5 percent from 2016.
Click the audio player above to hear the full story.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.